Questions tagged [short-stories]

For about a fictional work too small to be called a [novel] or [novella] - usually less than 10-20 thousand words and no chapters. Use to either identify the media on a [story-identification] question or disambiguate works where the tag covers the short story and its form in other media.. If you are looking for a particular anthology of short stories, use the [anthology-book] tag instead.

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5 votes
0 answers
81 views

Identify a short story about a wall at the edge of the universe

2 astronauts arrive at the edge of the universe and find a wall. There is a coin slot that opens a portal to look through the wall. One of the astronauts takes a look and tells the other there is ...
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Looking for a short story that was written about a future where most people live in perpetual adolescence except one person who reaches maturity

Looking for a short story about a future time when all people live in perpetual adolescence, except for one boy who ages into maturity. The final line of the story is something like “for you are a ...
11 votes
0 answers
111 views

Short story about artificial intelligences communicating through coded messages in noisy data

I read this short story in English a few years ago online, and I believe that it was fairly new at the time, so probably written sometime in the 2010s. The main character is a powerful AI that does ...
19 votes
1 answer
949 views

Boy playing ball has to run inside to avoid a hail of diamonds

I read this in a collection of sci-fi short stories when I was in elementary school, so circa mid-to-late 1980s. It might have been published by Scholastic. It's a very short story. It may have been ...
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Short horror story I read in the 70's where the protagonist witnesses a monster disguised as a human eat someone

A guest at a hotel or bed and breakfast accidently sees into an open door in another room. He sees a human turn into a monster and devour another guest. The monster turns back into a human and is ...
3 votes
0 answers
114 views

A story of four people landed on a planet and fallen into alien molluscum which consumed them but left brains so they possessed and controlled it

I would be very grateful for the name of this story. I read it in some sci-fi book full of short stories. One man was a biologist, then a woman also scientist, then a military dude and a state ...
4 votes
1 answer
557 views

Sci-fi novel about a group of people stranded on a planet populated by automated war machines

This was a short novelette about a group of people who are intimidated to land their cargo ship on a planet destroyed and inhabited by automated ai war robots, to loot valuable technology on the ...
4 votes
0 answers
86 views

What is the title of SciFi anthology with a short story about the singers at the end of time?

The anthology cover shows a woman and man (lower left) and some barrel-chested natives (upper right). While listening to the natives sing, the anthropologists are transported to the far future where ...
7 votes
1 answer
165 views

SciFi story about "hive mind" babies that are born around the same time in a village

I'm looking to re-read a SciFi short story about some "hive mind" babies that are born around the same time in a village... A similar plot to John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos, but quite ...
20 votes
1 answer
4k views

Isaac Asimov short story about illegal meat

I’m trying to find a short story by Asimov that I read years ago. The plot is that in the future, all meat is banned/illegal and carries a huge penalty if eaten/found. A few people can afford to buy ...
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Looking for a short story about the highest flight ever

Read in the ]80's, this felt like a '60–'70s-era sci-fi story. The story is set on a high altitude plane or craft that has a malfunction, and the flight crew cannot get the craft to go back down. ...
22 votes
1 answer
964 views

Short SF Story: The last (Immortal) man visited by Aliens

An immortal and very old man resides in a mausoleum. He is the last man on Earth. He hears a great noise, goes outside and is disappointed, it was only a starship decelerating in the atmosphere. The ...
6 votes
1 answer
334 views

Identify Short Story Time Slip/Bubble

The story begins with main character (unsure of their sex, but it's only one person) driving down a road, surrounded by farmland, maybe some trees and things. They go off track, not sure if its in ...
20 votes
1 answer
4k views

Sci-fi horror short story about alien that wants to be eaten

In 2017/18 I was really into story podcasts, and heard one that I cannot find again, and do not know what podcast I heard it on. It was a sci-fi/horror short-story about a group of people who went ...
18 votes
2 answers
4k views

Science fiction short story in which Einstein is cloned but shows no interest in much except playing his violin

I read this in the 90s. Based on the failure of getting anything productive out of the Einstein clone, future cloning targets are more engineering-minded like Poincare.
1 vote
0 answers
66 views

Vehicle (Station Wagon?) gets shot at by darts in wilderness? [closed]

Many years ago, in the late 80s or early 90s, I ran out of stuff to read, so started reading my mom's textbooks. In one of her old literature textbooks, I ran across a story that was about a family ...
9 votes
1 answer
196 views

Short story where traveller is sent to future into body of future self but turns out he died in the time before he jumps into

Read the story in grade school, possibly in a children’s magazine (1980-1992). All I remember is scientist invented a way to jump into your future self and sent someone ahead then brought them back. ...
6 votes
0 answers
121 views

Short story - Prophetic science fiction author reawakened on the moon

I suspect the story I'm learning for is from Analog in the 1980s or so. A science fiction writer is woken up from cold sleep, and greeted by government officials who tell him that his stories are ...
4 votes
0 answers
72 views

Short story in which people have forgotten how to do even simple arithmetic [duplicate]

I read this story in the 1990's or possibly the late 1980's, but I believe it was older than that, probably 1960's or possibly 1950's or 1970's. I do not remember if I read it in Swedish (my native ...
8 votes
0 answers
141 views

Sci-Fi short story telepath uses CAPITAL LETTERS

It was in a collection of Sci-Fi short stories which I lent to a friend and never got back. It was about a human who somehow became trapped in a muddy cave or beneath the ground. There the man ...
9 votes
1 answer
188 views

Name of short story in which aliens install suicide buttons in their children to improve their race

Men and aliens are cooperating freely on some extraplanetary task. A human gets into a discussion with an alien colleague about how peaceful and mature his alien species is, as opposed to humans, who ...
4 votes
1 answer
237 views

Short story about crime-free future and a suicide device

I'm trying to find a short story about a crime-free future. Also story has mention of a suicide device fixed on the back which leads to decrease in violent and aggressive behavior in future.
14 votes
1 answer
477 views

Most Dangerous Game with shapeshifting alien

I have been trying to find a story that I read 20-25 years ago in a science fiction anthology about frontier planets. In the story, a big game hunter has come to a planet to hunt the most dangerous ...
11 votes
0 answers
128 views

Short story where man was mauled by dogs in dream

I remember reading this story in an old High School literature textbook years ago (2009-2010 timeframe), but the story itself is probably a lot older. The entire story is framed in a series of letters ...
12 votes
1 answer
147 views

Short story about children, crows, and language learning

While in Covid Quarantine in 2020, I read a short story in which a child starts talking to a mysterious person online when they're supposed to be chatting with their aunt. That person is not a human ...
8 votes
1 answer
607 views

Name of the book that carried a short story about a man living in a windmill/grinder attacked by giant worm?

It's been decades since I read the book. It was a collection of monster stories and one of them that I remember had ended with a worm attacking a windmill because it sent vibrations into the earth. ...
7 votes
1 answer
871 views

Short sci-fi story about a prisoner and mind teleportation [duplicate]

I remember studying this short story in my school book of class 9 or 10 maybe (Indian CBSE board book) in the year 2004/2005. The short story was something about two people from two different planets. ...
6 votes
0 answers
100 views

Short story from a 1970s era collection about aliens clandestinely selling perfect tech on Earth [duplicate]

It was in a sci fi collection, probably from the 1970s. It's about a main character who is trying to figure out how another person has such perfect things from a brand name "P" (for perfect, ...
18 votes
1 answer
3k views

Short story, probably from the '70s, where a new procedure would supposedly make people smarter

This is not "Flowers for Algernon." There was one very intelligent scientist who initiated it (as I remember) and the results were that the people who went through it started speaking in a ...
8 votes
0 answers
82 views

SF short-story about an alien invasion of Earth by backward aliens [duplicate]

The aliens have discovered a star drive for interstellar travel but are very backward in all other technology. The have conquered other races. When they reach Earth, the air on their ship is becoming ...
10 votes
1 answer
175 views

Looking for sci-fi short story about a time loop

This is a short story, I think I read it in an anthology of the author's work, possibly. I don't remember too many details, unfortunately. It had a male character who has the choice to break out of a ...
14 votes
0 answers
269 views

A short story about a fax machine that receives messages from the future

I am sure I did read in the 80s, in our local library (it doesn't exist anymore by the way), a science fiction short story about an electrician that invented a fax machine that started to receive ...
7 votes
1 answer
307 views

Title of sci-fi short story where at the end we learn that the main character is not human after all and every alien race calls itself "human"

I remember reading a short story that really impressed me as a child in the 90's. It was sci-fi anthology from my father's old book collection, so probably at the very least a decade old already. Plot/...
25 votes
1 answer
2k views

Story about automatic writing machine in a dispute between writer and editor

I'm trying to find a short story I dimly recall, with the following elements: Within the story, there is a dispute between a writer, and an editor, about how the next scene of a science fiction story ...
10 votes
1 answer
179 views

Christian priest discovers aliens are God's new chosen [duplicate]

I probably read this short story or novella in the 70s-80s but I think it could have been pretty old then. The Earth has been invaded by aliens. The aliens are pretty horrible people, violent, blood-...
28 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story about a man who travels to another planet via astral projection, where he encounters an alien intelligence that exchanges minds with him

Looking for short story read in the '60s. In the future, space exploration uses a sort of astral projection. The traveller is in the lab and hooked up to monitors, but they don't allow real-time ...
6 votes
1 answer
339 views

A man on a bus wearing a wrist watch with which he could speak to his wife - short story by Ray Bradbury?

That's all I can remember- I think it was a short story by Bradbury. The funny part was that the man was in constant communication with his wife via his wrist phone.
7 votes
0 answers
118 views

I’m looking for a book of science fictionish short stories

I can’t remember too many stories but the one I do remember is about two kids, a boy and a girl. The boy, who's father is missing, is being bullied by the girl, who says “she’s in the wrong era” but ...
20 votes
1 answer
978 views

Identify short story in which invention of music redeems humanity from alien death sentence

A small mission of harmless-looking little aliens comes to Earth to observe the place before destroying mankind. These folks have no music of their own but when they are exposed to ours, they love it. ...
19 votes
1 answer
1k views

Short story about discovering that geometry is inconsistent

I'm thinking of a story I read in the 1980s or early 1990s, which may have been published at any time prior. I probably encountered it in an anthology, but I cannot remember anything particular about ...
19 votes
1 answer
3k views

Hyper-advanced aliens create universes as a class project; one student's project goes to heat death

I was sure I stumbled across it here, but I can't find it at all. It's a short story I've read in the past 10 years, I believe. The viewpoint character is some unimaginably powerful alien who is ...
16 votes
1 answer
275 views

Sci-fi story about universe birth, heat death, and rebirth

I once read a story about a class of god-like beings who were learning to create universes. Most of them created their universes to be just the "right" size, with enough mass that the ...
9 votes
1 answer
409 views

SF Short Story — Mercy-Killing Telepath

I read this short story in the 1960s — can't remember just where. Pretty sure it was an American author. The main character is a middle-aged man, who, if I remember correctly, walks with either a cane ...
10 votes
1 answer
385 views

Short story where there is a new extremely realistic 3-D movie system that eventually kills you

I am pretty sure I read this short story in an American magazine in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The time is the future, when an extremely realistic 3-D movie system has come into use. It has ...
15 votes
0 answers
358 views

SF Short Story - Robots Carry On

I read this short story in the 1960s, although it may have been published earlier. English language, American or British author. Two men, strangers, are talking in an office; one carries a cane. There ...
17 votes
0 answers
360 views

Weird Galaxy/IF Short Story

I am almost positive this short story appeared in either Galaxy, IF, or Worlds of Tomorrow in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The MC is an alien with three(?) legs and a bell-like head with a circle of ...
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Short fantasy with Merlin and Arthur's granddaughter in modern times

This is a short story from Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine in the 1980s, I think. Merlin finds Arthur's daughter in a modern American city, for purposes I don't remember. The key thing I remember is ...
12 votes
0 answers
148 views

Science fiction short story about a cashless society where they let a guy pay cash but his change is credit

I read this story in an anthology of science fiction short stories. I was in grade 6 and it was 1969. It was about a man that goes to buy something with money but the store was cashless. Finally they ...
30 votes
1 answer
3k views

Short story: aliens change world at housewife's accidental request

This is a mid-'80s story from Asimov's, I think. A woman is grocery shopping (or just finished) and in a bad mood — people are rude, her kids poorly behaved and U.S.-U.S.S.R. tensions very high. She ...
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

Science fiction story that ends with "Let there be light"

NB: This is not "The Last Question" by Asimov. Very many years ago (I think around the late 1950s) I read a very short story (about 4 pages) about computers at a time when they were in ...

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